Oh Versatile Calzones – Cheezy Spinach Version

I was initially going to make these on the grill, but then I remembered my Grilled Peaches Pizza and I sort of chickened out… so I decided to make abstraction of the intense summer heat and fired up the oven instead.

Yeah, the house got hot[ter], but it was very well worth it! What a delicious and filling and satisfying dish this was!

You know, I can’t think of a dish that’s more versatile than calzones, really.

  • They are highly portable and you can eat them hot or cold, so that makes them an ideal dish to take with you to work for lunch;
  • Of course, they’re aslo perfect for picnics, for you don’t need much else than a napkin to enjoy them if you’re gonna eat them cold;
  • If you prefer to reheat them, can easily do so in the microwave or toaster oven;
  • You could have them for breakfast, lunch, supper, snack… you can basically eat them whenever, wherever!
  • You can make them ahead of time and keep them in the freezer wrapped in aluminum foil. Then it’s easy to just grab one (or as many as you need) from the freezer and reheat it in the oven. Better yet, just take one out of the freezer before you go to bed and in the morning, your lunch is all ready to go!
  • You can make them as big or as small as you want;
  • You can stuff them with pretty much anything you want which means you can make them as healthy (or as unhealthy) as you like… ;)

Of course, the version that you see here is super healthy!

I chose to take the classic route and go with spinach for my first try. You can’t go wrong with spinach, now, can you? But despite being extremely healthy, I found that if using spinach and cheese alone, the dish might have lacked a bit in the protein department.

Notice I did say MIGHT have

I’ll let you in on a little secret. I won’t say it too loud, just in case your kids are listening. I wouldn’t want them to overhear, you know! ;)

I actually put tofu in these calzones.

But I promise I won’t tell anyone if you don’t… ;)

Because you know what? There is no way anyone will ever be able to tell it is actually there.

These taste rich and cheesy and have a great hooey and gooey texture. The tofu actually blends in with the cheese, so it gives the illusion that there is even more cheese than there actually is.

Now you might think that this is a little too extensive to make on a week night.  Well, I thought the exact same thing, but I figured if the dough was good and ready to go by the time I got back from work, then I could very well pull it off.

So what I did is, the night before, I took the dough out of the freezer and left it in the fridge to thaw overnight. Then, before I left for work in the morning, I lightly brushed the dough with olive oil and placed it in a small bowl. I then covered it loosely with plastic wrap and put it in the cupboard to rise.

By the time I got back home, it was all poofed up and ready to use! The stuffing takes no time at all to make, and the calzones themselves cook fairly quickly also.

I highly recommend saving this one for a cooler day, however.

Unless you really love sweating…

Or you’re a little crazy, like me! ;)

INGREDIENTS
(for 2 large calzones)      

Dough

Spinach mixture

  • 325g spinach, chopped
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp pepper
  • Freshly grated nutmeg
  • 100g extra firm tofu, grated
  • 100g low fat mozzarella, grated
  • 1 cup cottage cheese
  • 1 egg

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 500F
  2. In a non-stick skillet, cook onion, salt and pepper over medium heat until translucent. Lower heat, add spinach and stir until spinach is completely wilted, about 1 minute. Turn off the heat and set aside.
  3. In a mixing bowl, add cottage cheese, tofu, mozzarella, egg and nutmeg and mix until well combined.
  4. Remove excess liquid from spinach and fold into cheese mixture. Mix until well combined. Set aside.
  5. Divide dough ball in 2 equal pieces and roll or stretch each piece into a 6-8 inch disc. I like to use cornmeal when rolling and stretching my dough as it tends to get trapped into the dough and adds a nice little crunch.
  6. Mound half of the spinach mixture on the center of each of the discs. Flatten it just a bit with a spoon, bringing the mixture more towards one side of the disc.
  7. Fold the dough back onto itself and press lightly on the calzone to form a half moon.
  8. Fold the edges, twice if possible, to seal in the filling.
  9. Transfer to a pizza pan or cookie sheet and cook in the oven for 15-20 minutes, until the crust turns crispy, nice and golden brown.
  10. Serve however, wherever and whenever you prefer! ;)

 

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Comments

  1. says

    This looks amazing – I’m DEFINITELY going to try these when it cools off. I’m always looking for protein-heavy, healthy lunch ideas. Thank you!!!

  2. says

    I want to jump through the screen and take a bite!!! If only I could make a gluten free version that looked as yummy as yours!!! Love the addition of tofu – that’s right up my alley! Beautiful photos, as usual!!!

    • says

      Thank you so much Nora! Why would a gluten free version not look as pretty, tell me? Are there not flours that are gluten free that would make a great dough? Excuse my ignorance, I have never really looked into this… I don’t have a problem with gluten. Well, at least not that I know of! ;)

  3. says

    Awesome! I love these. I was thinking of making something similar to this so my sister in law can make some and put them in the freezer for when she has her baby. I love meals like that too :D And I’m super glad you linked to that whole wheat pizza dough recipe :) And I love that you added nutmeg to this. Yum!

    • says

      That whole wheat dough recipe is definitely a keeper. The only one I will make now. I make a full batch and keep the unused portions in the freezer. It’s just perfect that dough, I tell you. Next time I make it, I think it will be getting its own post! It truly deserves one! :D

  4. says

    These look stunning, irresistable infact. I want to make them for dinner tonight. Don’t think I’ll have problem finding a warm place for the dough to rise!! I might put some pine nuts & raisins in there too, can’t wait!

    • says

      Ooooh! I like! I actually thought of putting walnuts in mine, but then I figured I had enough protein as it was with the addition of tofu.
      You are one brave woman if you are going to make these tonight… unless it’s not quite as hot on your side of the pond as it is on this one…

  5. says

    New follower here–was led to you by FoodGawker! The calzones look scrumptious. I bought some tofu a while back and it is in my pantry. Any idea how long it’s good for? Would love to give these a whirl.

    • says

      Thanks Heather! Glad you found your way here! I really appreciate visitors. :D

      As for your tofu, there should be a “best before” date on the package. Once opened, you want to keep it submerged in water and change the water every day. It will keep for up to 5 days. You did mention your pantry, though… tofu should always be kept in the fridge… I hope that’s what you meant! ;)

  6. Andrea says

    Sonia, I love your taste in food, it’s very similar to mine! I have so many of your recipes bookmarked, but I have a quick and possibly silly question.. is there an easy way to convert from grams?
    Thanks!

    • says

      So glad to hear Andrea! I sure would love to hear your comments if you ever make any of my recipes! And there is no such thing as a silly question! There are many websites that you can go to for quick and exact conversions, but I find that if you keep in mind that 30 grams is roughly an ounce and that 450 grams is about a pound, it makes converting recipes pretty fast and easy. Or you can get a kitchen scale that has both settings! ;)

  7. Felicia says

    Sonia – I nearly wept with joy. You’ve combined two passions of mine: spinach + cheese. Thanks for the divine recipe, the glory shots + constant inspiration. xo

  8. says

    just stumbled across your site through flickr and it is AWESOME! Just on the first page I saw several things I want to make and this calzone will be soon, maybe even today! Your pictures are inspiring and beautiful! Will post again after I try this and others! Thanks!

  9. Rose says

    I just found your site from tastespotting. AWESOME recipes!!! Of course being a forever dieting Italian, the calzone caught my eye instantly. Can’t wait to explore the rest of your site. Thanks for sharing.

  10. says

    When I saw secret ingredient on foodgawker i was hoping it would be tofu! So cool. These are being saved to make for SURE!

  11. Megan W says

    Mmmm! I will definitely be trying these! I love spinach and cheese! I’m not vegetarian, so I think I’ll go ahead and put chicken in instead of tofu. I stay away from soy due to the estrogen in it causing increased risk of reproductive cancers in women. Your pictures are so great! I’ll be trying the pizza dough too; I’m always on the lookout for good pizza dough recipes. (Pizza being another excellently versatile dish.) Thanks for sharing your recipes! :)

    • says

      Thanks Megan. You should definitely give that dough a try, it’s by far the best whole wheat pizza dough I’ve ever had. Takes a little bit of thinking ahead, but it’s really worth the extra effort. :)

      Replacing tofu with chicken sounds like a great option to me! Let me know how it turns out if you try it!

      • Gloria says

        These calzones look so yummy. I so want to make them but my doctor told me to avoid soy since I’m sensitive to it. The chicken substitution sounds good. Any other suggestions on how to make the filling without soy?

      • says

        Chicken, ground beef, cubed ham, hard boiled eggs, crushed walnuts (although maybe not the whole quantity), cooked butternut squash, roasted mushrooms… there are so many great ingredients that you could use instead of tofu. Let your imagination go wild! :)

  12. Amanda says

    Is the nutrition information available for this recipe? i’d love to make it, but I’d really like to know the nutrition info. Thanks, the calzones look great!

  13. Happyhealthyeater says

    Made this recipe last night. LOVED it. I tried it because I was struck by the idea of using tofu to increase the “cheese factor” – such a fabulous result I will start experimenting with other cheese dishes. Whilst I was making the dish I just thought of the pastry as a vehicle- but I really was impressed! Thank you so much for posting this (your recipe has ended up on a plate all the way in the Netherlands)!

    • says

      Alright! So happy to hear that this recipe turned out for you! And thank you so much for letting me know. I always appreciate good feedback! Love the idea of adding tofu and mushrooms. I will keep that in mind for the next time I feel like making calzones. :)

  14. Happyhealthyeater says

    …oh and I added 250g mushrooms in cubes to the onion – I really enjoyed that extra dimension of earthy flavour. (By the way I cooked the spinach seperately and put it in a colander to squeeze dry……Also I used a little less cottage cheese)

    • says

      No, I’m afraid I haven’t… in fact, I don’t think that it would’ve ever occurred to me. I remember, back in my old days, I used to dip pizza crust in hot and spicy bbq sauce… I know, how totally unhealthy! But I bet this calzone dipped in marinara sauce could be really glorious! :)

  15. Kellie says

    I am so excited to try this Recipe. It looks amazing!
    But how much tofu and cheese was used roughly in cups?
    Thanks!

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